Living with Music

Ralph Ellison's Jazz Writings

By Ralph Waldo Ellison; Robert G. O'Meally (Editor); Robert G. O'Meally (Introduction by)
Modern Library, Paperback, 9780375760235, 336pp.

Publication Date: May 14, 2002

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Description

Before Ralph Ellison became one of America’s greatest writers, he was a musician and a student of jazz, writing widely on his favorite music for more than fifty years. Now, jazz authority Robert O’Meally has collected the very best of Ellison’s inspired, exuberant jazz writings in this unique anthology.




About the Author
Ralph Ellison was born in Okalahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at which time a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his first attempts at fiction. Invisible Man won the National Book Award and the Russwurm Award. Appointed to the Academy of American Arts and Letters in 1964, Ellison taught at many colleges including Bard College, the University of Chicago, and New York University where he was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities from 1970 through 1980. Ralph Ellison died in 1994.Robert G. O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of American Literature at Columbia University.Robert G. O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of American Literature at Columbia University.



Praise For Living with Music

“No Ellison fan or jazz aficionado should ignore this book.” —Publishers Weekly

“Most of us just listen to it, but Ellison truly inhabited jazz. Lovingly collected here for the first time are the crème de la crème of his music pieces. . . . Prose rarely resonates like this.” —Library Journal

“The nonfiction pieces repackaged here include considerations of blues, gospel, and flamenco. . . . As the slips of fiction and correspondence gathered here testify, all Ellison writing is jazz writing.” —Entertainment Weekly

“[Ellison] may have stopped playing jazz, but he never stopped celebrating it throughout his long literary career.” —The Washington Post

“Whether he is writing a homage to Ellington on his seventieth birthday, analyzing how the blues infuses Richard Wright’s autobiography or reviewing recordings of Mahalia Jackson, Ellison is insightful while keeping the focus on what role the music plays in American culture.” —The New York Times Book Review

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